Green Party commentary on President Obama’s State of the Union speech

As posted by Ian Wilder at onthewilderside.com, taken from a Green Party press release:

Green Party: Obama, in State of the Union speech, must reverse his failed policies on health, war, climate change, economy, jobs

Green Party candidates and leaders called on President Obama to announce a reversal in his administration’s current actions and policies when he delivers his 2010 State of the Union address on Wednesday, January 27.

HEALTH CARE

Lisa Green, 2010 Green candidate for the California State Assembly, 53rd District (http://www.votelisagreen.net):

“The failure of the Obama Adminstration to offer a health care plan passed that delivers guaranteed coverage for all Americans will cost votes. As the Massachusetts Green-Rainbow Party recently noted, a Republican senator was elected last week in Massachusetts where many voters expressed disappointment with the Democrats’ insurance company bail-out plan (http://green-rainbow.org/PressReleases/20100121_brown_win_signals_progressive_power.html). President Obama has admitted that Single-Payer is the best plan for America. There’s still time for Mr. Obama to drop the current legislation and demand the Single-Payer plan to expand Medicare to cover every American. By taking the high road now with a pitch for Medicare For All in his State of the Union address, Mr. Obama could undercut the criticism of Republicans and anti-reform ads placed by corporate lobbies. Support for Single-Payer from the President is especially critical now in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling, which promises a flood of corporate advertising in 2010 on behalf of those Democratic and Republican politicians willing to sell out to the insurance, pharmaceutical, and other lobbies on health care.”

More: http://www.gp.org/press/pr-national.php?ID=291

GLOBAL WARMING

Sheldon Schafer, astronomer and Illinois Green Candidate for Congress, 18th District (http://www.schaferforcongress.info):

“President Obama’s talk about green energy and a green economy has turned out to be lip service. He could turn that around during his State of the Union speech by announcing that he no longer backs the cap and trade scheme and will instead seek emissions reduction mandates, and by demanding an end to the mountaintop coal removal that is devastating West Virginia and other states and feeding climate change. Unfortunately, the actions of the US delegation at the Copenhagen negotiations in December indicate that Mr. Obama is compromising on the real steps necessary to curb climate change — conservation, green conversion and retrofitting of infrastructure, carbon taxes, greenhouse gas emissions rules, and a massive public transportation program to reduce car traffic. All of these would create millions of jobs.”

More: http://www.gp.org/press/pr-national.php?ID=276

JOBS, NOT INCARCERATION

Matt Reichel, Illinois Green candidate for the US House, District 5 (http://www.mattreichel.us):

President Obama has remained silent on the prison-industrial complex, which has made the US the top incarcerator in the world by feeding millions of people to private prisons, which profit by filling up cells with poor, young, and Black and Latino people. He could help end this outrage by halting the war on drugs and by announcing, in his State of the Union address, the creation of a massive green jobs program. Such programs put Americans back to work during the Great Depression. If enacted now, it will help those who’ve lost jobs in the current recession, and also reduce racial economic disparities, which have been ignored in the ‘post-racial’ age of Obama. So far, Mr. Obama has devoted his administration to bailing out Wall Street rather than Main Street and Martin Luther King Boulevard.

SECURITY

•Treasurer of the Green Party of the United States: “President Obama plans to talk about the menace of bioterrorism during his State of the Union address. Real security will come with peace and international cooperation — spurred by a reversal of current foreign policies. It won’t come with preemptive invasions, bombs, torture, or anti-constitutional surveillance. Technology will enrich military and government contractors and their stockholders, but it won’t eliminate threats against the American people. The Green Party condemns all acts of terrorism and violence against civilians anywhere in the world and we demand punishment for all such crimes. But these criminals are only a tiny percentage of the world’s people who have real grievances against the US. As the global climate heats up and competition for dwindling resources grows more severe, the US must find a humane and green path to security, or we’ll face a global catastrophe.”

WAR

George Martin, founding member of the Green Party’s Black Caucus (http://www.gp.org/committees/black) and New Mexico Green:

“The Obama Administration has expanded the US’s military engagements and military funding. President Obama is sending thousands of more troops to Afghanistan, extending the war into Pakistan. His delayed plan for withdrawal from Iraq would leave as many as 50,000 military personnel to protect US access to Iraqi oil. Mr. Obama has continued to aid Israel in its military aggression against Palestinians. Last June, after the President urged humanitarian aid for people in Gaza, 2008 Green presidential nominee and former US Rep. Cynthia McKinney and other Free Gaza activists tried to deliver such relief. They were illegally intercepted by the Israeli navy in international waters and jailed, but the White House remained silent. The policies of the Obama Administration and Democratic Congress have shattered hopes that we’d see a
real change after eight years of Bush-Cheney.” (Mr. Martin is also former national co-chair of United for Peace & Justice (http://www.unitedforpeace.org) and national steering committee member of Peace Action Education Fund Board (http://www.peace-action.org/edfund.html).)

FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY

President Obama, in his address, will spout populist rhetoric against Wall Street, but he’s doing Wall Street’s bidding with his domestic spending freeze and offering a tiny, token jobs bill. He intends to target entitlements — Social Security and Medicare — rather than the bloated military budget, tax cuts for the rich, and corporate welfare. With consumers and businesses over-indebted and shoring up their balance sheets, the government has to be the spender of last resort. This is an opportunity to build a clean, green energy and transportation infrastructure and provide needed human services. But President Obama is talking like William Jennings Bryan while acting like Herbert Hoover. This isn’t fiscal responsiblity, it’s digging America into a deeper hole.

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